Carr's Milling Industries stoked the deal wave being fuelled by UK agriculture groups by unveiling a joint venture to build a US livestock nutrients plant, accelerating its expansion into the US.
Carr's Milling Industries said it had set up a 50:50 joint venture with Consumer Supply Distributing to set up a plant in Iowa which will open late next year, with annual production capacity of 12,000 tonnes of low-moisture feed blocks.
The deal links Carr's to the US-based farming giant CHS, whose global empire of joint ventures includes Consumer Supply Distributing, besides the likes of the AgRural tie-up with Australia's RuralCo unveiled last month, and the $4bn-revenue Ardent Mills milling business formed with Cargill and ConAgra.
Indeed, the joint venture will sell to customers of CHS and Consumer Supply Distributing besides of Carr's itself.
London broker Shore Capital said: "The virtue here for Carr's subsidiary to our minds is the excellent potential distribution that working with CHS/ Consumer Supply Distributing may bring."
It also represents the latest in a series of deals by UK-based agriculture groups.
Carr's two months ago bought Western Feed Supplements, a Nevada-based feed block manufacturer, from Western Milling, California's largest feed manufacturer.
Meanwhile, Wynnstay is attempting to buy Carmarthen and Pumsaint Farmers, a Welsh farm retail business, and feeds-to-fuel operator NWF Group has also unveiled an appetite for deals.
"The three listed UK agricultural inputs businesses have all previously been acquisitive, and this is a trend we believe will continue as significant opportunities for consolidation remain, particularly in the UK," broker VSA Capital said.
"In our site visit on Friday, NWF reiterated that it is very keen on continued acquisitions in its feed business.
"With its relatively low levels of debt and recent stock price performance, we think it would be quite straightforward to raise money from banks and investors to fund any sensible acquisitions that it may look to complete."
Carr's chief executive Tim Davies said that the US joint venture, called AAC Feed Supplement, was "in line with our strategic objective of building our share of the US low-moisture feed block market".
The group was enjoying "continuing growth and demand" its feed blocks throughout its network.
Shore Capital restated a "buy" rating on Carr's shares, saying that "reflects the growing attractiveness of agriculture as an area for investment".
Nonetheless, Carr's stock stood 2.8% lower at 1375p in lunchtime deals in London.